Love, Nostalgia and What Is Left


This morning, I got a Facebook notification that made me feel nostalgic. Read comments on a Note I was tagged in three years ago. Moments like this morning, I realize how much in love I was then, and how young I had to be to be able to feel love as truly as I did. It was, I see now, selfless in that self ceased to exist, yet selfish in that love like that completes one’s sense of self.

In time, when our lovers of earlier leave, we lose the obvious things that can be lost when we fall out of love, things such as a longed-for presence and opportunities for the demonstration of care. But if we loved at all, I think what comes after, loss, is always easily accepted parsimonious pay for the heady glory of times of memory, when one possessed another and was possessed in turn.



Alison Lock, British author, Reviews City of Memories



Ali is a writer of great breadth and vision and his love for his country is evident. He gives voice through his characters and they are capable of deep intellectual discourse. The themes are interwoven with precision and often the flashbacks are described in meticulous detail.  The issues raised are complex and unsettling.

Morning everyone, just got a positive review from the UK this morning, from British author Alison Lock in the latest Sentinel Literary Quarterly Magazine. It’s a very perceptive one. Read it HERE and please #share

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim explores the complicity of State Media and State Tyranny in Nigeria. Misinformation cannot lead to development. Incisive. Read and share.

Moonchild's Temple


Watching ‘Africa’s largest TV network’ sucks. That is why Nigerians, supposed proud owners of this unwieldy beast called the NTA, do not bother. They, like most humans of appreciable self esteem, do not fancy mirrors that project their hideous warts and hairy moles in 3D.

 Seriously, understanding Nigeria’s problem is not rocket science. And you don’t have to read Chinua Achebe’s seminal piece, The Trouble with Nigeria to figure it out. If you still have the heart to examine what the trouble is with the ‘Giant of Africa’ all you need to do is subject yourself to the torture of watching the NTA. Not in lethal dose, just enough to shed light on things. Consider it, if you like, a sort of purgatory for sins done against your country, say handing out that N20 note to the policeman at the road block, or receiving it, or making away with drugs…

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A review of my friend’s book!!!


Anyone who knows anything about third generation Nigerian writers would know that Victor Ehikhamenor is a big fish. You only need to have followed his column in the now defunct Next newspaper to agree. Excuse Me! is a timely collection of his writings.

I recall now the first time I came across Victor’s column online, I marvelled at the poetic flow of his sentences and how he managed to inform without depressing—even when the topic was Nigeria’s numerous sob stories. I also recall that I wondered – will I ever be able to write like this? I never could, his style was fluid, personal, a trademark that belonged only to him.

Like most young writers looking for a break, It was a feeling of self fulfilment that suffused my heart when, I think it was twice or thrice, my article appeared alongside Victor’s on Next’s famous front page. It was akin to…

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Random Book: Picture of Dorian Gray


I remember an idea l had in love affairs when l was younger the dregs of which remain, it was to love as a higher thing, elementally, as fire or sea or earth. Interminable, unriddable, love like that, self consuming and for love’s sake alone. I had read some Neruda poems as well, secondary school days.

I picked a random book off my shelf, turned out to be Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. I felt a strange pleasure, that not-good-enough word, to read Basil Hallward say “. . . I really can’t exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it.

I remember an idea l had in love affairs when l was younger the dregs of which remain, it was to love as a higher thing, elementally, as fire or sea or earth. Interminable, unriddable, love like that, self consuming and for love’s sake alone. I had read some Neruda poems as well, secondary school days.

But then, one grows older and becomes like Hallward’s picture of Dorian Gray, kept in an attic. So I smile to read a confession of truth that will lead to tragic ends, written by an author soon to be disgraced. And l wonder if there isn’t someone out there becoming younger for the reason that l am growing older.


[Brittle Paper] The Irreverent Critic: Interview with Ikhide Ikheloa


If I was brave like Dambudzo Marechera, I would call them theFuck You! Generation. They have taken one look at thieving generations of intellectuals and politicians who did little or nothing for them and given them the middle finger. Good for them. Let’s be honest, the West has been intervening to save our writers from Day One. Where would Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, etc, be without the West? This generation does not have anyone but themselves and the Internet. I cannot in good conscience write them off. In fact, I sometimes wish that someone like Elnathan John or Richard Ali is thrown into solitary by some military goon so they can pen the next big one on toilet paper. That would be awesome.


Ikhide Ikheloa in an interview just out HERE on the Brittle Paper Blogazine.

I love it when I get mentions in interviews by my elders and my contemporaries especially when the interviews are extremely topical and important, and when the interviewer is competent. Ainehi Edoro is very competent in this interview on Nigerian and African writing and Ikhide Ikheloa is indeed a man of topical, and even controversial, opinions. Read the entire interview here and #share.

– Ra.

‘Sirees continued, on the alone-ness of the Syrian people: “Our people believe in God. And this is good. But when they start to think that they are alone, and only God is with them, this is…a problem. They fight [in] God’s name, because no one cares.”’

Arabic Literature (in English)

Syrian author Nihad Sirees was recently on CNN and the BBC’s The Strand:

sireesThe CNN piece interlaces the interview a bit…oddly…with somewhat random footage from Syria. In any case, CNN’s Becky Anderson first asks Sirees about his novel The Silence and the Roar, recently translated by Max Sirees and published in the UK in January (Pushkin Press) and the US next month (Other Press). Anderson notes that there are no place-names in The Silence and the Roar and yet “everyone knows” it’s about Syria.

“This is my role as a writer,” Sirees says. “It’s important that literature talks about these problems early, very early.”

Anderson notes that Sirees has left Aleppo, in part not to be silenced, and asks — since he can speak freely — what he wants to say about the country. He says “I want to say that what is going on in Syria is very dangerous…

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